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Questions to A. S, through Pipa

Q : Dear Sir I follow your writings very closely in DeDuif, in one article you said its better to have no glass in the roof than too much. In South Africa we race in Winter, so during the day its around 18c yet at night it can go as low as 3c, its also dark by 5.30Pm. I am thinking of putting in glass in the roof of my new roof, or plastic sheets, this to heat up the loft as early as possible, then at night I will cover the glass or plastic sheets up, so I dont loose too much heat, will this be a bad idea? Second I leave very early in the morning, and will have to leave food for my Youngsters and hens,as I leave for work while they still training, they can eat Diet food in the Sputnik, and then they can enter the loft,but cannot come back for more food. I can then hand feed them Sport mixture at night, do you think I will be able to be competitive with this type of feeding, it means they will eat as much as they want in the morning, I worry they might put on too much weight. Do you know of another idea? Thank you for your Time and I look forward to your Answer. Gregory.V : Beste Ad, Bij deze zou ik u willen vragen hoe ik volgens u het beste kan spelen met mijn jonge duiven deze zijn vorige week afgezet vooral met het oog op verduisteren/bijlichten zodat we ook aan de nat, Chantilly mee kunnen doen en de laatste Vlucht staat gepland voor 11-09 alvast bedankt voor uw antwoord en uw medewerking op deze site! met vriendelijke sportgroet, Edwin Wiersma Sibculo
A : Dear Sir, 1. It is hard for me to advise you as the climate is so different in your country. Anyway I know what you are talking about and it reminds me of a visit to Las Vegas. I was prepared to warm weather, landed in the middle of the night at Phoenix and was surprised to notice how cold it was over there in the desert. In the day time, when I made some loft visits it was warm indeed. The lofts were open and the condition of the birds poor. Then I had that seminar. People asked me about strains and medicine as usual. 'You guys have a loft problem' I said. What you plan to do is real good> Keep the climate under control as much as possible. So try to get the heat from your loft in the daytime and get the cold out at night. Temperatures should differ as little as possible. You are right to worry about this. The environmont (loft) is real important to build up a good condition. And without a good condition you can forget it, no matter how good the birds are. 2. As for your other question I am afraid I have not real good news. If you have a full time job out of doors it is hardly possible to be a great champion in young bird racing. Furthermore I would prefer that the birds can eat as much as they like in the evening and not in the morning. In your situation I am afraid you will have to experiment yourself what is best. Good luck Gregory Ad

Q : Hello Ad What is the best way to maintain a true family of racing pigeons ? Linebred /inbred what do you think ?? Also what do you think is the best family of racing pigeons ?
A : Dear Sir, Watch out for a family of birds. Most good racers are products of crossings. I do not believe in line breed or inbreed nor do I believe in a good family of birds. Sorry for my negative reaction but I guess you want to hear my honest opinion. Good luck A Schaerlaeckens

Q : Dear Ad, Years ago it was easy to rear healthy youngsters.Today,even with the help of modern medicines,it is an altogether more difficult task.Can you expand a little on the reasons why and also offer any advice you may have with regard to diet ,medication etc.Two particular problems seem to be canker and paratyphoid, would you advise a preventative program of medication or would you treat if a problem occurred? Thank you for your help, Mike.
A : Dear Mike, You mention it is not easy rearing healthy youngsters and you mention medicine. In my opinion it is medicine or better the abuse of it that brought is so much trouble. Throughout the years we have undermined the natural resistance and now we have to pay a price. I had people here from Poland and from Romania. They never have or had any problems but... they did not have the medicine we had either. So in my opinion it is the medicine that are to blame. As for me the press and the vets have a task here to warn people and to help out. But here we face a serious problem: The press can only survive by adverts and in many of them medicine are promoted and medicine are the daily bred for our vets. As for myself I seldom have problems. But, don't be surprised, I do not clean the lofts and only give medicine when I have no other choice. That means against canker and salmonella only and if necessary. And you cannot believe how healthy my birds are. Would have liked to give a more positive answer, sorry. Ad S

Q : Dear Sir Ad Schaerlaeckens I race in Norway. I use the dry widowhood-system with 32 cocks. The last three years my racing have been partially destroyed. And it everytime happens at the same time. I pair up my cocks at the beginning of march ( After sitting on eggs for 6 days, the cocks and hens are separeted. About 20th of april they are again paired up. Sitting again 6 days on eggs and separeted. Thats when it happens. All pigeons are in good health and good spirit at first pairing and until second pairing. Then as the hens are about to lay their eggs second time, the cocks are totally collapsing. They loose their mood, their upgoing curve of form droppes to the ground and they loose interest in flying. When the hens are taken away,I have to start from the bottom and build the cocks up again. And then there is only 14 days to first flight. My competitors are then to strong. I make sure that the hens are not transferring anything to the cocks, so I let them have a cure against coccidiosis and trichomonas and worms if I see signs of that. This I do before both pairings. Last year I thought of breathing illnesses and gave the hens a good medicament from Belgium, but the same thing happend. Last year My cocks also got the same treatment as the hens + I burned the loft with a torch. As a rule The cocks are given medication against these things(Cocci-tricho and breathing problems), but only when I believe it is nessesary. I want naturally healthy birds. The weather on these times of year are often unstable, with sudden low temp and rain and fog, and suddenly the next day it can be as in summer. But that is equally for my competitors. I believe I have good quality birds, I have imported from Holland, from known fanciers where their pigeons have done good for other fanciers. This is not much information, but can you,please, give me a hint on where I can search, I would be grateful. Yours sincerely - Roger Olsen from Norway
A : Dear Mr Roger Olsen, Your story is not real strange. Indeed you cannot blame the fall in condition on the weather as it is just as you say: The weather is the same for everybody. The point is that when you pair the birds for a second time a fall in condition is kind of normal; it may be just a bit or a lot. For that reason many champions do not mate up the birds again just before the season. If it was not for the fact that the eggs of my widowhood cocks are sold I would not mate them up for a second time either. What I advise you to do is the following thing: Let the birds rear babies but do not allow the hens to lay eggs a second time and do not mate up the birds a second time. Remove the hens with the babies when they are still young. It is my firm belief you will have that problem in future. Good luck A. Schaerlaeckens

Q : Dear Sr. what are the best methods to inbreed and linebreed can you please tell me. Second question do you bolive in eyesign? if the awnser is yes can you explain what to look and finaly what method we can used to put our breeders togheter sorry for my bed inglish thankyou for you,r time best regards Miguel A. Gonzalez CLUB ALAS CAPILLA, JALISCO MEXICO.
A : Dear Sir, As for me, inbreed and line breed is all B.S. Good for sellers. The best pigeons in Holland and Belgium are nearly all products of crossings. Most Champions here do not believe in inbreed or line breed, what they do is cross. As for Eye Sign, same story. I know many champions but I would not know of any who believes in eye-sign. Scientists that are interested in pigeons also say eye- sign is bull and I completely agree with them. After this you may think you asked a stupid question. Do not worry, there ARE no stupid questions, there are only stupid answers. So in short: Better forget about inbreeding, line breeding and eye sign! Good luck A Schaerlaeckens

Q : Dear Ad S What do you look for in selecting new stock birds and what is the process for that ? regards M. Fezeir
A : Dear Mr Fezier, All my life I have been after good birds. I found the greater the name the poorer the quality. So what I have been doing in recent years is go to small fanciers. They may not be famous as most famous names will have too many birds due to the demand and they must have little space. If they have little space (so no place for a big loft) such fanciers have no other choice than to get rid of birds that would be good ones in other lofts. And finally, VERY IMPORTANT, such a small unknown champion must race in an area where competition is strong. A first prize or a first championship means nothing to me. I want to know about the strength of the competition. There are areas in which I would prefer a winner of 100 birds to a winner of 10,000 birds in other areas. And of course, names and strains have no meaning at all. These are good for sellers and for business. There is much I do not know but believe me here I have a reputation of finding good birds and such a thing you have to deserve. Good luck A Schaerlaeckens

Q : Dear Ad S What do you look for in selecting new stock birds and what is the process for that ? regards M. Fezeir
A : Dear Mr Fezeir. First of all the results. As for this I prefer hens that won a long distance race (500 to 600 kilometres) in hard weather as a young bird. Hens that won such races against many birds nearly all turned out to be good producers and not only in my loft. No wonder such a great deal of foundation hens are called 'Chatearuoxduifje' or 'Bourgesduifke'. Those names refer to a long distance race they won. Unfortunately we in Holland cannot race long distance with youngsters any more due to the pressure of animal protection. Furthermore I like to breed from birds that won a race at high speed (so with tailwinds) but also with headwinds. Such birds have proven to be good at orienteering and have proven to be strong as well. So results come in the first place though it must be said that many super birds turned out to be poor breeders in the lofts of many a champion. But be careful with such birds. One of the best racers I ever had 'Creilman' (a multiple first prize winner that won 2 provincials in 2 weeks time in 1995) never ever gave me a good baby. Therefore I sold his babies cheaply too. But how wrong I was. What I did with the babies of Creilman was to race them and the results were no good indeed. What others did with its babies was to put them in the stockloft. Many of them would give superbirds such as that miracle cock from Mr Timmermans that won 3 firsts against average 11,000 birds. So the babies of Creilman were poor racers but sensational breeders, at least some of them. Furthermore I like to breed off of brothers or sisters from Superbirds that are real beautiful. As for pigeons that I imported I prefer to mate them with my own best birds. Some people that get say 2 pigeons from me want a hen and a cock sothat they can mate them. I think this is wrong. Maybe the 2 of them are good, maybe one is good, maybe none of them is any good. If both birds lack quality chances are little to breed good babies off of them If you mate a bird that you imported to your own best that already gave good birds you are sure that at least one of the pair is good. I also want to say that I do not believe in so-called Golden Couples. Of course there are pairs that regularly give good babies but these are very rare. If you talk to great champions you will find most of them think the same, that is why they change the matings every year or even during the year. When a couple gave a real good bird we are happy and leave the pair together hoping it will give more good ones. This may happen if you are lucky but that will seldom be the case. Couples that are mated for some years will often give birds that are getting worse and worse. Finally I think you need a lot of luck. Nobody in the world is able to form a good breeding couple. People who claim they can I do not take serious. The Super pair does not make that Ace bird but it is that Ace bird that makes the Super pair. So the breeding pair was not first but their baby! Good luck is very important and that is what I wish you Mr Fezeir. A Schaerlaeckens Couples that have been mated together for several years will seldom give good babies

Q : Mr Ad, Since you are very acquanted with the `true` Jannsen pigeons,what is their limit regarding hours on the wing? Joe
A : Dear Mr Joe, In Holland and even more in Belgium the 'true' Janssen pigeons are out dated. Look at the sites of many champions or at the loftreports at the site of Pipa or study the pedigrees of many Belgian superbirds. You will rarely see the name of Janssens. In Holland that is different indeed but that is a long story. But it must be said the Janssens created a kind of bird that was far superior to others and for that they deserve respect of the whole 'pigeon world'. In the old days Janssens themselves raced short distance but good Janssenbirds could easily handle 500 to 600 kilometres. They have often proven that in other lofts. Thanks.

Q : Dear sir, Like to ask your opinion about races during summer hot season. Are there any food that I should give to pigeons when racing on hot weather? Is corn still good for them because I heard that corn will add to the body heat for pigeons. Is peanut still ok for them on hot weather? Or maybe you can recommend some technique for this type of races (during summer). Our race will go for 6 weeks. Thank you val
A : Dear Sir, It is always difficult to advise people that race under different circumstances. What you heard about corn is B.S. There is nothing wrong with peanuts, do not exaggerate though, but what you can do when temperatures are extremely high is to give feed that has been lying in the water for some time sothat the birds need to extract less water from the body. They will badly need the water during the race and even more during their trip to the racing station. And electrolytes are also to be advised of course in hot weather. Good luck! A Schaerlaeckens

Q : Hello I would like more information on Sedochol. I have read about it in many article, but no one here in the United State knows what it is. Can you tell me what it is? Is it known by any other names? And finally, how I can get it. Luis Orlando Martinez
A : Dear Sir, Sedochol is a food additive (so no anti biotics) for several sorts of animals. It surprises me that you read about it since many fanciers do not even mention it in loft reports as they consider it just as normal as giving the birds grit. It contains methionine, Sorbitol, Choline and is very good for the liver and the moult. If you give it regularly during the moulting season you cannot believe how soft the feathers will be, moreover it is cheap and does not expire soon. As I said it is a food additive and it surely does not turn your pigeons into winners; it is manufactured by the firm of 'Merial' Brussels Belgium. It is not known by other names and of course I cannot know how to get it in your country, sorry. Ad S

Q : Hello Ad. I ask your opion on racing 24 hens to 12 widowhood on the round about system..only a small loft is needed for his system.4ft in lengh each side for the hens and 6/8ft in the center for the cocks..? have you tried this yourself....? Allen
A : Dear Allen, This is a good question. I think for a real pigeon man who is at home in the daytime it might work very well. And indeed, only a small loft is needed to race a maximum of birds. What a coincidence you ask me right now, April 14th 2004. We had 3 races. I won 2 of them with the same hen!. She and another hen are mated to one cock. The task of the fancier is to see to it that these hens remember each other and hate each other every minute of every day. If the birds are in this position and if they have quality they will perform! Guarantee. Ad S

Q : My name is Anghel Ovidiu and I fly racing pigeons in USA (New York). I started fling birds 5 year ago at the age of 18. It was very difficult however I managed to be competitive against my club members. The questions that I have are?How cane I make my birds molt all ten tips in a very sort period of time. (5-7 months)?How do I have to train my young bird team to be able to race in 400 miles young bird special races?Thank you very much ANGHEL OVIDIU, ANGHEL LOFT
A : Dear Anghel, How to get your birds moult 10 flights in a short time? Very simple. Put them in full light (artificially) for at least 18 hours per 24. My question is if you should do this to be successful. How to train your young birds? This is NOT a simple question as it depends on your racing program, the age of the birds, the climate, the way they are being raced (natural or separated sexes) and so on. Since you live in America it is hard for me to tell. What I do know is that many Americans overdo. You should train your babies well but too much is too much and that will take a price. Good luck though.Ad S

Q : Hi Ad, I know you like the product Sedochol and its values.Do you think it has a place in the race season?And if so what way would you recommend it in the race season? Would you place it on the corn or in the drinker? Thanks for your help Tony, Dublin, Ireland.
A : Dear Tony Sedochol is super stuff for birds that are moulting. In my opinion the best there is. So in the moulting season I give it 3 times a week (or more) over the food. But it must be said though that nowadays at least 75 percent of the champions in Belgium also administer it in the racing season. I do not believe it will improve the condition but it might help to prevent problems as it is very useful for functions of the liver. Good luck Ad

Q : Hi Ad, I like your honest answers,it`s a shame there are not more pigeon writers who tell it like it is in this wonderful sport,maybe the sport would go forward instead of backward if there was less BS around.Anyway i want a good strong family of birds to work the extreme distance races in future years...i was going to get some latebreds from,top champion flyers,in this country,i`ve tried to do my homework by looking for small lofts ,who rarely treat with medication,and who linebreed their family ,with an occassional outcross ,but when you say linebreed-inbreeding is BS,it could put me back to square one..So give me your best advise on how you would procede,if you were making a fresh start,aiming at ,only extreme distance races,.from finding the right birds,managing youngsters,to yearlings,then oldbirds,etc.....Any thoughts will be VERY much apprechiated. Johnboy ///// England Many Thanks!!!!!
A : Dear John, Thanks for your friendly mail. As for honest answers, is not it the duty of all human beings to be honest? Life is too short to be dishonest. Thanks anyway, Ad

Q : Hi Ad, I like your honest answers,it`s a shame there are not more pigeon writers who tell it like it is in this wonderful sport,maybe the sport would go forward instead of backward if there was less BS around.Anyway i want a good strong family of birds to work the extreme distance races in future years...i was going to get some latebreds from,top champion flyers,in this country,i`ve tried to do my homework by looking for small lofts ,who rarely treat with medication,and who linebreed their family ,with an occassional outcross ,but when you say linebreed-inbreeding is BS,it could put me back to square one..So give me your best advise on how you would procede,if you were making a fresh start,aiming at ,only extreme distance races,.from finding the right birds,managing youngsters,to yearlings,then oldbirds,etc.....Any thoughts will be VERY much apprechiated. Johnboy ///// England Many Thanks!!!!!
A : Dear friend in sport from across the Channel, Forget to tell you that I am not able to answer all your questions in short. It would take too much space. One specific question is always welcome of course. Thanks for understanding. Ad S

Q : Dear Ad, In England fanciers are only interested in pigeons with first prizes but on the Continent it seems it is more important for a pigeon to have a number of prizes even if they are not firsts.When purchasing pigeons to enhance your loft which do you consider the most important? Also when introducing new blood would you prefer to purchase an untried youngster from a champion in preference to an older bird which has raced consistently but has not the results of the champion? Thanks for your help, Mike.
A : Dear Mike, I prefer birds that win with tailwinds and with headwinds. Real champions are not interested in just prize winners. They should be on top many times. I myself would never buy an old bird, even if it is a good racer. If the fancier thinks it is a good breeder he will never sell. What I advise is babies, rather a bunch of cheap ones than one expensive bird from famous birds as famous birds also give youngsters that are no good. And finally watch out for fanciers with many birds and a great name. Try to find yourself a friend in Belgium or Holland who will take you to a small loft with real good and cheaper birds. Good luck, Ad S.

Q : Hello, My name is Dan Mihai, I want to ask you what can i do with my pigeon,i have some problem with their health(trichomonas,E-coli),end i didn't know what to do.Please tell me a program from the race season because i can't take pigeon in form.I try practice roundabout system end i didn't know more about that.Please inform me with all you know. Thank you yours, Dan Mihai
A : Dear Mr Mihia, As for health trichomoniasis and E Coli may cause serious problems. 1. Trichomomoniase in the first place. Once a bird is infected it will never ever get rid of it. Medicate as little as possible but sometimes you will have no other choice. The best thing is to medicate before the breeding season. This should be a thorough treatment for at least one week over the food. Make the food sticky with moistened water. Why over the food? Since pigeon drink so little in winter time they will not get enough of the medicine and trichomonas should be eliminated completely. Also before the racing season a thorough cure of about a week. During the season you may medicate one day after every race but I think it is better 2 or 3 days monthly. Even better is not at all, if the birds perform real well I do not see a reason to medicate. As for coli there are several good products. You need a little luck as there are different families. Very effective in most cases is a combination based on trimethoprim plus sulfa. Cosumix and Baytrill may also help out. As for E coli and young birds I advise not to clean the lofts from the very beginnign the birds are weaned. Anyway you should use as little medicine as possible. Good Luck Ad Schaerlaeckens

Q : Dear Mr Ad, We read of strains/families of pigeons in Belgium-Holland as` day racers`.Can you explain what is really meant by that. Thanks. Joe
A : Dear Mr Joe, In Holland and Belgium fanciers race what they call 'fond' which means long distance. There are 2 sorts. Races from 900 to 1100 kms, they are released at noon or later so that no bird can make it on the day. Then there are other races for which birds are released in the morning. They get home on the day of release. These birds are called 'day racers'. They are fit for races from about 600 kms. Regards A Schaerlaeckens

Q : Hi Ad, Over here,we have always had it hammered into us,to go to a small loft,with a small linebred(with occasional crosses)family,that has scored regulary for years without the need of medication,...if we are looking for something to build a long distance family with,but your feelings "linebreed/inbreed,family is BS",confuses me,because the way you seem to say,will be like looking for a needle in a haystack,99% luck,or chance.Any thoughts. Best Wishes....... Johnboy///////England
A : Hi Johnboy, Yes indeed, breeding that Super is luck for a great deal. Parents of Klak's famous 613 only gave one 613 !! Vervoort often complained that parents of Fieneke only gave one Fieneke and so on and so on. Therefore I always advise never to buy a baby for a crazy price off of famous parents. It is better to buy more birds at a cheaper price preferably from a small loft indeed. Ask the champions in Belgium and Holland how they got that superbird they have. If they are honest the greater part will say: Luck. Of course birds that raced well and have good brothers and sisters offer greater chances. But no more than that: Chances!! Thanks Ad

Q : Hello Ad, Thank you for the honest answers you have given to my previous questions.This question is a little more difficult.I understand some fanciers are using La Sota vacine to improve racing performance.I have even been told it will increase a pigeons stamina and allow it to be competative at much greater distances than normal.First,is this practice legal? Second,are there any side effects,either short or long term? Last,how widespread is the practice? If it does indeed work it could turn average fanciers into top ones and offer top fanciers an easy method of staying at the top.My concern is while average pigeons become top performers their genetic potential must only remain average so anyone buying pigeons must beware! Best wishes, Mike
A : Dear Mike, Yes it is legal but we should not exaggerate its effect. It does not turn average pigeons into winners, it justs boosts the condition for a couple of weeks and that is it. It does not make your birds stronger or better and is not the magic stuff fanciers have been after as long as pigeon sport exists. The second time you use it is less effective than the first time. As for its genetic potential I think this is not relevant. There are no side effects whatsoever and indeed it is pretty wide spread. Many top fanciers use it before a national race. Some openly admit it in a report, others don't. Best regards Ad S

Q : Dear Ad. For two weeks ago I visited some German fanciers - Matthias warzecha in Oering, Raymund Hermes in Hamm and Gerhard Schlepphorst in Langenberg. They are all well-known with big result and it was a big experience to visit them. Particularly Schlepphorst.On his loft I saw some of the most clean-breeded Jan Aarden and Stichelbaut pigeons. They were all very dark in the colour, and all the eyes dark brown. When I have visited Holland and Belgium I never have seen such pigeons. Do you think such pigeon are out-dated today. When I remember back to my childhood 40 years ago a lot of pigeons was alike. Schlepphorst told me a lot of breeders from Holland and Belgium are buying youngsters from this pigeons because they need the toughness that this pigeons contents. Do you think the modern pigeons of to day are too "speedy" and we have to return back and keep the old strains. I look forward to read your answer. Best regards Steen Haagh Denmark
A : Dear Steen, I know exactly what kind of pigeons you are talking about. The pigeons you are referring to are not out dated, they are very good businessbirds. The dark feathers and fantastic rich eyes are just what many people like. That such pigeons are tougher than others is B.S. I also saw many outstanding long distance birds in Holland and Belgium but as far as winning races is concerned not such birds. You mention 'clean breeded Jan Aarden and Stichelbautbirds'. Sorry my dear Steen, such birds only exist in the lofts of sellers. As for Jan Aarden, he never had a strain but bought pigeons everywhere. He did not have such dark coloured birds with rich eyes either. In Holland the sellers claim to have Jan Aardenbirds indeed and it works that means they attract buyers. The long distance champions however do not have such birds. Try to have a look at the national Aces in Holland and Belgium and the national winners. They are not such birds. Going back to the old strains does not make sense to me as those old strains never existed not to mention the new strains. Sorry to disappoint you Steen but you asked my opinion. Ad Q :hello I have 2 questions about my widowhood cocks. They are going to their 3rd race this weekend, and they are starting to come into form, but they are still calling the hens when they enter the loft after training. Is that normal? My other question is that the cocks are starting to eat less, some of them only eat one or two grains, and drink very little water. Should I force water into them before I basket them, and if so should I add anything to the water? Luis Orlando Martinez
A : Dear Sir, What you experience is quite normal. The birds are kind of nervous and that is the reason they eat less. The fact that they hardly drink is only good. It shows they are in good health. No, there is no reason to pump up water. Only after about 3 to 4 weeks widowhoodcocks will get used to the sytem and behave as they should behave. Good luck

Q : Dear Ad, 1 How many y/b's would you breed off new breeding pairs before you can say they are definitely bad and must go? 2 Have you ever had any good racers that made many mistakes early in life? 3 How are you motivating your race birds generally? 4 In your experience what makes a bird a super ? 5 In your travels would you say that birds imported into foreign countries need time to acclimatise or do the best always come to the fore straightaway? 6 How long do you darken the y/b's and how have you solved the ventilation in the /yb loft. Kind Regards Calum Edmiston uk
A : Dear Mr Edmiston, 1. I do not believe in breeding pairs. Couple that only give good birds do not exist or rarely. Most super birds that I know of do not have many good brothers or sisters. So what nearly all champions do is change the matings as they know it seldom happens a pair gives more good ones. 2. Not many but it happened that reals supers got lost as a baby. Pigeons that were not in good health as a baby will very rarely be good birds. 3. Make them love/defend their own territory. There are many means to do so. 4. If it is winning with head winds and tail winds for several years. However such birds are rare. 5. I think they need to acclamitise indeed. Once American Ganus sent over 100 babies to Holland. According to his loft manager in Holland he seldom got such bad racers. Of course they could not all have been that bad. 6. The period of darkening depends on the racing program. If you want to win in July or in september makes a great difference. 7. Ventilation is not such a big deal here as we have a pretty windy climate. Good luck. A Schaerlaeckens

Q : Dear Mr.Schaerlaeckens It seems like my previous mail could not reach you. Anyway , pls.find my questions again. It is great that we have a good opportunity to have a chance to ask you and also gain some knowledge and experience from you. So , allow me to ask the following questions : What is the best mixture of food for the short , middle and long distance pigeon from your idea? Is it necessity to motivated long distance pigeon? How many days that pigeon should take a rest after back from the mid-long distance races and continue to send them to the basket again for the next race ? How to keep our pigeons which back from the race to reform to fit again or regain their power back as fast as possible? Thank you very much for your time / support. Virat Sopinpornraksa / Thailand Best regards, Virat Sopinpornraksa
A : Dear Mr Virat, Indeed did your mail not reach me. 1. As for feed, this is a rather controversial subject. Ask 10 champions how they feed and you will get 10 different answers. So for short and middle distance it is not that important. As for long distance I do not have experience as I do not race long distance but it seems clear that they need more. I mean extra corn (mais) or pea nuts to start about a week before a race. For youg birds watch out for peas! They are no good. 2. No do NOT motivate for long distance. Birds should be basketed calmly and relaxed. 3. How many days to take a rest after a race? You cannot say that in days. Some birds can be basketed the following day, others need a rest of 2 weeks. A good parameter is the training and the flesh around the breast bone. If the training is back to normal and the flesh has its nice colour again they are ok and ready to race. 4. How to deal with birds after a hard race so that they will recover faster. Most important: rest !!! In hot weather electrolytes may help and what is also very important is the environment. If the weather is bad make the loft agreeable for the birds. Some people here put on the heating. Good luck A Schaerlaeckens Q :Dear Mr.Schaerlaeckens , Thank you very much for your kind answer to my previous questions. It makes me clear and gain some points as well. Regarding to your answer to Mr.Mike's question about La Sota vaccine. I don't have any idea of this product but interesting and eager to know much more about it. So my questions / request are as follow : 1) so kind give us some detail about this product , What is the main idea of this products use for? Is it real vaccine? 2) How do we use it , how often? Is the objective to create this product is specific for this propose (to boots condition) ? I'm really appreciated in your comment . Best regards, Virat Sopinpornraksa / THAILAND
A : Dear Mr Virat, La Sota is not manufactured for pigeons but for chickens. It is used to prevent an outbreak of PMV (paramyxo). After the first cases of PMV in 1984 there was kind of panic here and especially in Belgium they used this stuff (La Sota) as there was no stuff then as Colombovac to needle the birds. In those days fanciers noticed condition became better after using La Sota so they kept using it. Raymund Hermes from Germany even won a National race one week after a bird was treated with La Sota. You mix one dose with sterilised water (one third of a tea cup) and put a drop in each eye and nostrill. You can also put a tablet in the water but make sure the birds are thirsty and will drink immediately as the stuff will be expired within one hour. Finally La Sota does not turn your birds into champions. Regards A. S. Q :Dear Mr. Ad, I've got two questions. Firstly, I'd like to know more about your pigeon 'Sissi'. Is it still alive? Does it have any brothers and/or sisters that have performed well? Who are the current fanciers who have been successful with her descendants? And secondly, if you say that most champions are products of crosses, can you please explain your theory or opinion in breeding a champion or an ace-pigeon? How would you rank the following- luck, smart guess, hunch, pedigree, size, eye-theory, left-right tail pairings, and etc. Would you explain> the basics. Thank you and more power. Yours in Sport, VAN Essex, UK
A : Dear Mr Van, Fanciers who are successful with the off spring of Sissi? Too many to mention. A book can be written about them. I can tell you that the 2nd and 3rd best bird of Western Europe (West European Nation cup) in 2003 are both descendants of that hen of mine. (These fanciers are Mr Verkerk and Mr v d Zijde, see the newsflash on my website). Some sisters of Sissi were real good breeders, no good racers. If course also many descendants of Sissi were no good at all. As for breeding good birds: - Eye theory is B.S. - Left-Right tail pairings is B.S. Nobody will be able to answer your question. Why do the champions in Holland and Belgium breed so many birds, sometimes hundreds? Because they do not know !!!!!!!!! I just read an article of a young reporter. You know what struck him? That all the champions he had met admitted they did not know how to breed good birds. And he mentioned the names of Meulemens, Houben, Janssen Bros, Klak, Louis van Loon. You know what Adriaan Janssen from Arendonk used to say? If you have a pair that gave one super all those years they were mated then you have a super breeding pair. I know fanciers that have 30 to 60 breedingpairs. You can imagine how many babies a year they can breed. But I do not know of any fancier in the whole world, not even the greatest champion, who breeds 3 super birds per year. 3 Superbirds per year would mean 12 superbirds in 4 years' time. If you would know about such a man please give me name and address so that I can ask him to send me the results of this 13th best bird. What you should do to become a champion? Breed many babies, race many babies and eliminate many babies. After some years I advise to elminate the bad ones, sell the good ones and keep the supers! Good luck. A. S.

Q : : Dear Mr.Ad, A well known long distance fancier from Holland ,ones said to me that if you pair long distance pigeons with short distance pigeons you will get neighter long dist racers nor short dist racers.Piet De weerd ,in his book `Memoirs of Piet De Weerd ` he states that he know of no strain that would not benefit from the Janssens.Van Hee used the Janssen to put speed into his long distance pigeons.Parick is an excample.What do you have to say about it? I thank you for answering the questions with such straghtfowardness and honesty.You are a credit to our sport. Best wishes Joe
A : Dear Joe, First thanks for your friendly words. As for long distance I guess you mean the 2 day races. I am not a long distance guy so I cannot speak from my own experience, however I do know most long distance champions of course and I think your Dutch friend is right. Long distance birds should be crossed with long distance birds. However this is no fixed rule. You mention Van Hees 'Patrick'. As I also stated in my Janssenbook this was a half Janssenbird indeed. One of the best Barcelona racers ever, a bird from De Wit Bros, was a half Klak. Schellekens very successfully crossed his 2 day racers with a Klakbird. Dusarduyn won a long distance race with a half Klak. And Klak himself often told me how successful Jef van Wanroy was with one of his birds. However... I think these are exceptions to the rule. I know too many champions that tried a crossing long distance x short distance who failed hopelessly. Thanks Joe, Ad S

Q : Dear Mr Ad, Regarding the question I asked yesterday .What I had in mind were long races that are usually won in 10 -11 hours not the two day races.I am sorry if i was not clear.Would your answer given to my previous question apply? Thank you . Joe
A : Dear Mr Joe, I am afraid we have (a little) problem here. You refer to races that are usually won in 10 to 11 hours. Say the average speed is 75 kms (1250 mpm) per hour. That would mean a race of about 800 kilometres. In Holland such races are always 2 day races. In Belgium there may be one such (one day) race but that is it. Anyway, my answer to the your previous question still applies; do NOT mate long distance birds with short distance birds. Good luck Ad S

Q : Hello Ad. I was thinking about buying a few young birds from a dealer here in the United States. He in fact has one of your birds and is now selling the young ones from this cock for $7,500. I read where you say it is better to buy more for less rather then pay a high price for a young one out of an ace pigeon. I have a few questions. Do you think $7,500 is to much to spend for a young unproven pigeon? and, would it not make my odds for breeding a champion better if I buy 5 young birds out of these champions and breed from them. I don't just want pedigrees, I want birds that will breed super racers. There are guys here that do well with birds they paid very little for, is there an answer? Would buying out of the Ace pigeons be a short cut or a high price to pay? Orlando
A : Dear Orlando, Paying 7,500 US for a baby is crazy. I gave the bird you are referring to away as it did not fill its eggs for several years in my loft. That was a mistake I am afraid. I should have killed him. It gave me fantastic birds but only with one hen that is dead. I tried him with many others, real supers, but none of the babies was any goodl. I would not buy from dealers anyway. They want to make money, that is why they are dealers. As I often write I would rather buy more birds and cheaper ones directly from the fancier. Many great names claim that the cheapest birds that they got or even gifts were their best. Maybe a miracle happened to that bird of mine in America so that it filled its eggs again but when it was fertile in my loft I sold his babies for 120 USD which was good enough for me as it gave more rubbish than good birds as I said. And as it was in my loft for more than 10 years I know what I am talking about. As for your other question, buying babies off of Ace pigeons? In the past I did. And I bred babies off of National Aces that I bought for foreign clients before I shipped them. Never ever did they give me good birds. The bird off of which want to buy babies for 7,500 USD each I also got free!!! For money you can buy a beautiful dog but... not the wagging of its tail! If you want to pay so much money for a baby that is up to you Orlando. But you asked my opinion. Wish you good luck!!! Ad S Q :Hi Ad, I truly enjoy you writings. Does the length of a pigeon's keel matter much in a long distance bird? Kind Regards, Gordon
A : Hi Gordon, Yes indeed it does. As for long distance muscles may make the difference. The longer the keel the better. A longer keel means more muscles. So if long distance is what you aim at and if you must choose I would advise to pick out the bird with the longer keel to enhance your chances. Good luck. Ad S Q :Hi Ad, Thank you again for your honest answers to my questions.One final point on La Sota,you say all it does is to give a boost to condition.Can it be used with good effect for the two day long distance races? On the subject of condition,do you advise the use of any products other than feed,grit and water to increase race condition? A whole industry has built up around the supply of conditioning products,is it essential to use them to be competitive? Best wishes, Mike.
A : Mike, As for 2 day races I have no experience with La Sota. I only know that long way back Raymund Hermes won a 1st national (I thought it was from Pau) with a bird that was treated with La Sota a few days before it was basketed. But of course this one example proves nothing. Indeed there is a whole industry that supply additives that are supposed to boost condition. It is all a waste of money Mike. The sellers of those products are brokers of castles in the air. They promise to build you a bridge even if there is no water. Their clients are the losers, so the majority, who refuse to believe that it is all about good healthy birds in, very important, a good environment (loft). Do not believe in those magic bottles, throw them out of the window as far as you can. Electrolytes after a race in hot weather may help the birds, Sedochol is very good for the moult and liver and I believe a little bit in yoghurt (lacotbacillus) to help prevent an out break of E Coli, but just a little bit. Good luck Ad Q :Hello Ad: I want to thank you for being so up front with your answers to what I am sure are questions you have been asked 100s of times before. I was not aware that you had answer the question about Mattens before, it was made known to me after a sent in the question. I apologize for my ignorance. I have a few questions. I put my birds on sedochol about 3 weeks ago, I have noticed a lot more flights in the loft. Does the sedochol have anything to do with this? My second question is about the spots in the throat. I have a friend who says that a bird with spots will never breed a good bird or race very well in hard races, what is you opinion on the spots? Have you ever had good one that had spots? Orlando
A : Dear Orlando, About Sedochol it is known that it affects the moult in a positive way. So I am not surprised at all. It is also very good for the hair of dogs. My dog gets it twice a week and you cannot believe how soft he is. You will also notice that with pigeons that get sedochol. What your friend says about those white spots is another fairy tale in our sport. Saw lots of good birds with these spots. Good luck, Ad S Dear Ad I have enjoyed your answers to fanciers questions very much. It is nice to see straight foreward answers, to fanciers questions including to do with your own pigeons. It is nice to see such honest replies. Stevof Patrick Bros We have recently moved to Belgium to live and race the pigeons:
A : Dear Steve, You are moving to Belgium? Great, Then you will sure find out why I can be so cynical sometimes about eye sign, strains and stuff. Racing in Europe must be quite a challenge for you. You know Michel van Lint did the same last year. He had been living in Taiwan before, started racing here and guess what? He destroyed the races. I wish you also such great successes in your new home country. K Regards A. S.

Q : Hi: Background I have incorported in my feeding program some suggestions taken from the winning magazine. Depending on the distance the birds are expecting to fly, will depend on the feeding regiment to institute. The program I follow, assuming a short/middle distance race to come, is one of: The birds come off a race on Saturday in decent shape, they are fed their normal race mixture, with various additive in the water for body replenishments. Sunday they are put on a dupurative mix, to clean the birds- lactic acid build up, etc. Monday and Tuesday the dupurative mix is decreased and add in the higher protein mix (this is the normal 14-15% protein race mix), mainly starting on Tuesday. Wednesday thru Friday is a building up of fats and carbs, with the carbs concentration on the latter of those days (Thursday & Friday). This is my hi carb.mix. Water additives are along the lines of vitamins, minerals and probiotics, with Friday being clean water. Maybe some honey to build up the glucose on Thursday, Friday morning the latest but clear water mainly on Friday. The birds performance is good. The Problem A friend does not really follow any such program, just giving birds the usual minerals, vitamins, etc. with all week race mix. Additional peanuts on Thursday & Friday. Birds are lightly trained, with normal daily flights around the house. He doesn't follow any body cleaning and building up procedure with the feed. He does fantastic. Question Why is his performance better than mine? (He's flying my stock and his lofts are not any better designed nor cleaner than mine). He keeps just as many birds! Is this breaking down and building up process nonsense? Thanks. Tenmon
A : Dear Mr Tenmon, I favour for the method of your friend. There is not much wrong with yours but in my opinion you make it too complicated. I do not believe in vitamins and probiotics. I do not believe in depurative after the race. I do not think that in 2 days you can build up fats. Your friend follows the method of many champions here. They give their birds the same mixture the whole year round, the so called no nonsense method. Klak is one example. 365 Days per year all his birds got the same food, no vitamins or other stuff. Never ever did I see such healthy birds. Ven Elsacker Belgium the same story. Maybe he was the best in Belgiem in 2002. Super at Middle distance but also at long distance. Always the same food. Think you make it far too complicated. Good Luck A. S.

Q : By giving a high percentage of protein and carbohydrates to the birds, do you think that will help them to moult and develop faster. Thank you very much ANGHEL LOFT USA Anghel Ovidiu
A : Dear Sir, Sorry I do not believe in it. Healthy birds will moult naturally. No reason to interfere. Good luck. Ad S

Q : Ad, My friend has been reading many books on Racing Pigeons! Im afraid he is reading more nonsense than actual facts! Here is my Question for you? Picture a bird in good posture standing on the floor of the loft. If the birds wing tips barely touch the band of the tail is it a speed bird and if they go into the band is it a long distance bird???? Is there any truth to this? Tyler Graber
A : Dear Tyler, I am afraid your friend watches too much tv, in other words, just forget all that B.S. But let's be happy 'it is not that simple. Thanks Tyler Ad

Q : Dear Ad I was reading back through the Answers and questions, and noticed that you do not clean out you Young Birds. We too do not, but use a litter of first the Loft white powder on the floor, then Clean Wood shavings, and on top Cut Straw, Must be vey clean. We have used this system for a great many years and and Young Birds are never treated for any thing other than Paramyo as we have too, unless something is wrong, which is very rare. The old birds are treated the same way regarding treatments. Do you use any type of floor dressing in the young bird loft. Sorry its so long a post. KInd Regards Steve Patrick for Patrick Bros
A : Dear Steve, Your method seems very good to me. Indeed I use something different, crushed cobs (corn) but it is very hard to get it. The advanages are (also about the stuff you use), no dust, more natural resistance and a better climate during cold and/or humid nights. But there is nothing wrong with your system. Good Luck. Ad S